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Teeing Off: Views and Voices
JAMES P. HERRE
June 18, 2007
TRUST ME by James P. Herre Based on the last two weeks, I don't want Adam Scott in my U.S. Open pool. June 18, 2007 Mark Brazil Tournament Director Forest Oaks Country Club 4600 Forest Oaks Drive Greensboro, N.C. 27406 Time Inc. A TimeWarner Company Sports Illustrated 1271 Avenue of the Americas 31st Floor New York NY 10020-1300 212.522.1212 212.522.1234 fax j.garrity@sportsillustrated.com
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June 18, 2007

Teeing Off: Views And Voices

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TRUST ME
by James P. Herre
Based on the last two weeks, I don't want Adam Scott in my U.S. Open pool.

June 18, 2007

Mark Brazil
Tournament Director
Forest Oaks Country Club
4600 Forest Oaks Drive
Greensboro, N.C. 27406

Time Inc.
A TimeWarner Company
Sports Illustrated
1271 Avenue of the Americas
31st Floor
New York NY 10020-1300
212.522.1212
212.522.1234 fax
j.garrity@sportsillustrated.com

Dear Mr. Brazil:

You don't know me, so I'll get right to the point. I'd like to play in the upcoming Wyndham Championship on a sponsor's exemption. And as I understand it, you're the man who gets to pick four players who don't otherwise qualify under PGA Tour rules.

Before you toss this in the wastebasket, please hear me out. I know that sponsor's exemptions usually go to established touring pros with local ties or to hotshot youngsters with gallery appeal. I, on the other hand, am 60 years old, play to a 10 handicap and can't beat half the guys at Kansas City's Swope Memorial Golf Club, where I play on a senior-discount, no-weekend-or-holiday-mornings annual pass.

But I can watch TV as well as the next guy, and it seems to me that every tour event these days has either Michelle Wie or John Daly playing on a sponsor's exemption. Now, I'm not saying I can beat either of them on my best day. (Although, come to think of it, I might have beaten Wie two weeks ago at the LPGA's Ginn Tribute, where the teenage pro came within hailing distance of a first-round 90 before walking off the course with a dangerously unswollen wrist.) Daly, in particular, often breaks 80. He's No. 318 in the World Ranking, and he shot an even-par 70 in the first round of last week's Stanford St. Jude Championship. He might have done even better on Day Two if his wife hadn't attacked him with a steak knife before breakfast and then run off with the kids, as he tells it.

So here's why you should make me a sponsor's pick: I won't embarrass you. I won't withdraw on Friday afternoon, pleading heat exhaustion or camera-induced dystonia, when I'm 10 strokes over the cut line with eight holes to play. I won't hockey-stick the ball around the greens for two days and then race to the nearest Hooters to sign ball caps and boobs. I'll give you two solid rounds of 90; I'll have a beer with the sponsors in their hospitality tent; and I'll thank you afterward.

And who knows? If you also invite Wie and Daly, I just might finish as "second-to-low unrestricted-sponsor's invitee."

Crossing my fingers while waiting for your response, I am . . .

John Garrity
Senior Writer

P.S. If the answer is yes, please call me before informing the other media. I don't want those blowhards to scoop me.

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